Friday, 23 November 2012

Crossing Borders - A Festival of Plates

These 21 handmade plates are the result on an on-going partnership between UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Work Agency) schools in Gaza and Chelsea Community Hospital School in London.

Here's the full story

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Carry On

street meat by mdx

So many strands and directions going on with the photography at the moment that it's impossible to keep up with writing about it here. (And why even?) But still – here's a lump of meat that I came across the other day lying on the ground. Being a vegetarian I'm ignorant as to what it is - a chop? pork? lamb? but nevertheless there it was, lying on the ground. I posted the photo on Flickr and called it Street Meat - not the most charming title but evocative enough.

The one thing that does seem to be happening is that different projects and areas of enquiry, whether practical or theoretical, seem to be influencing each other and sometimes in surprising ways.

What to do but carry on!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

On the usefulness of blocks

More Blocks by mdx

Blocks come in many shapes and sizes and I wish these were the ones annoying me at the moment –  then I could just look the other way. But maybe it's only a question of scale – a block for one might be a stepping stone for another – and they're also quite handy for building up the pressure – and for stopping things from rolling downhill – oh and for building things – OK bring on the blocks.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Analogue – 01

Bears on the Benches by mdx

Got a bunch of old films = some colour and some bw. Shot the first film (Agfa XRG 200 ) on a Konica Auto S2.
I got it developed at snappy snaps to see wether getting the prints, as in days of old, was part of the equation – but it wasn't (tho maybe I should have picked gloss over the not quite matt).  But looking at them scanned there definitely is a particular quality - here looking sharp and contrasty. The blue / green maybe from it being 5six years out of date.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Films about estates

Films about estates  – as I'm thinking to make something based around our estate – but not at all in a documentary style.

I am Here is a great project on an estate in Haggerstone facing regeneration – lots about it here


Kind of Solid Concrete by Michael Jaworski documents another estate, Robin Hood Gardens, in east London facing regeneration

I put together David Idowu Peace Day video back in 2010. David Idowu, a local teenager was tragically killed in 2008 – the peace day is an annual remembrance and celebration of positive aspects of our community.
I was kinda lazy and put it together using Animoto

Saturday, 13 October 2012


This term we have to make a choice between the contexts of page and screen - and produce either a book or a short film. Seems I have to go down the film route especially as it gives the chance to work with sound and image together. I'm interested to see how it compares to the combining of image and text. I've been looking at music videos as they seem to hold a culturally easily understood combo of sound and image. Here's PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일)


Saturday, 6 October 2012

ONE DAY IN FLAT IRON SQUARE - the private view party

The private view at the Island Cafe was great fun and despite the torrential rain Deirdre Jonnie Nikki Conal Andrew Tom Charlie Ian Jim Jim Joan Bill Juliet Pips Jo Neil Jo Eduardo Angela Helen Colette and Ann all turned up along with at least 10 children who played outside in the rain getting absolutely soaked and loving every minute of it. The photos are staying up at the cafe for the foreseeable future and it was great having both adults and children enjoying seeing themselves immortalised. Thanks DD for taking the photos on the night. And here's the full series:

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Laundry Room

Dropped by the opening of "The Laundry Room" an exhibition by Richard Wentworth and Michael Marriott at

Photographs are on display in the old laundry room - nailed to the wall - 


ONE DAY IN FLAT IRON SQUARE, a photo by mdx on Flickr.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

got the show on the wall

got the show on the wall by mdx

Got my photographs A303 - The Road West up yesterday. The space looked great - we had Bob and Christina's work in the corridor - Marion and my work on adjacent walls in one room and then Sarah and Sara's in the other room. There was plenty of room and it worked walking round the three spaces. A good crowd came along to the private view and I had some interesting conversations about why I did the series and things that it sparked off for people. Today Christina, Jens and myself sat in the gallery while people visited. A very different quality to the private view - much more peaceful and meditative.

The show is on until Tuesday

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Friday, 14 September 2012

"One Day in Flat Iron Square" exhibition

This afternoon hung the nine group shots and title from "One Day in Flat Iron Square" at Island Cafe. Will try and organise a low key party opening thing soon -

1 Flat Iron Square, Union Street, London SE1 0AB.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

people looking at photographs

people looking at photographs by mdx
on a first look through I was most struck by Strategies for Survival by Jennifer Kover - and the Residents by Dominic Harris

I came back for the talk - "a panel conversation chaired by Dr. David Bate, course leader of MA photographic studies University of Westminster. Panel members include Dr Marco Bohr, photographer, academic and writer on visual culture and lecturer in Visual Communication at Loughborough University. Sophy Rickett, Artist and Senior Lecturer in Photography London College of Communication Dr Daniel Rubinstein, critical theorist, writer, photographic artist and programme leader for photography at London South Bank University, and Eti Wade, photographic artist and senior lecturer and head of the MA Photography at University of West London."

marco bohr blog - questions and queries - photography and digital communities - images old and new - recycled and appropriated - Doug Rickard and Michael Woolf (?) google street view

what is the work?

what is the photograph?

authorship - intention - production - interpretation

photographs as witness to - looking at the process that's set in motion

haptic photogra[hs - zooming iPad

gap between gallery and real life

frames and prints - who cares about them?

now the world is constructed from screens

we arre formed and produced by the technology

how where they produced? once the process was laid bare - now it's kept a digital secret

fetishising tragedy -

bring back the author

a process of making - gesture

the gallery as antidote to the storm of the internet

releasing the photograph from the burden of being visual

travellers of the network

knowledge vs information

slowness of the process

the voice of the grain

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Kiss

The Kiss by mdx

The Kiss by mdx

Rodin's The Kiss @ Turner Contemporary in Margate. A tedious use of gallery space from Tracy Emin. Mark Wallinger saves the day with an intriguing work showing a video stream of looking out to sea 24 hours ago –  he explains it better 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

we got an exhibition - be great to see you there!

we got an exhibition - be great to see you there! by mdx

It's been a lot of work organising this show but it's finally coming together. The publicity's at the printers, the invites are going out and now it's just two weeks till we hang it and drink beer. And wine.
Coming from a musical background I get the idea of the event as gig, and yet it still feels strangely otherworldly when it's my own work going out there. Less in the moment and not as gritty - but interesting to create a space for people to come to, and look at stuff.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

I Confess

Started on the Hitchcock box set from last Christmas with "I Confess". It dips half way through but the suspense alongside the slide toward the moral dilemma of the sanctity of the confessional tells a great story without a shot wasted.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

the boy and the field

the boy and the field by mdx

Titling photographs is a challenge. Striving with the collision of image and text to bring a new choice of meanings without loosing the singularity of either.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

down up

A relentless practice of taking 2 photos every day throughout the school summer holidays, one up and one down, as near to midday as possible on the iPhone and then combining them into a diptych. Not too sure why, but once started it's hard to stop.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Scan10089.jpg by mdx

From 1983 to 1985 while working in Bangladesh with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) I took photographs, mostly 35mm b/w but also some on slide film.  I had them developed locally in Bangladesh and printed as contacts. 4 years ago I started scanning the negs, the quality wasn't marvellous but it was wonderful to see the pictures again. Here's the first scans.

More to come...

Untitled as yet

Not sure where this is going - something about summer holidays.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Plotting and Planing

Plotting and Planing by mdx
8 of us from the course are planning to re show our work from last years documentary module. We exhibited it in May  and it looked good  and we're planning to show it again, in town in September.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Funeral procession on Southwark Street

Funeral procession on Southwark Street by mdx
A funeral procession along Southwark Street this morning complete with brass band, a carriage and horses with black plumes. It felt like being in a film seeing it pass by, the mix of the everyday with the drama of the event. I took a few photographs and picked this for a first edit.
Later I hear it was a young actress, Natasha, who had died.

Monday, 9 July 2012

The tyranny of the university over my own trajectories and dream projects

"One day I will investigate the tyranny of the university over my own trajectories and dream projects, beginning with the way it has ruled over and overruled my body, beating down any healthy instinct, trampling the least cellule of creativity, but this problem does not move me now."
Avital Ronell from Loser Sons: Politics and Authority

Friday, 6 July 2012

Hourly Group Photographs at Union Press

Hourly group photos at Union Press by mdxWe started at 10am and took a group photo on the hour every hour, gathering up people from the street - it was marvellous fun - and the sun was out all day.
Union Press by mdx

I brought along dad's old clock and it chimed out the hours for us all day.

Flat Iron Photography Projects

Yesterday 5th July Christina, Jens and myself ran 2 photography projects in Flat Iron Square as part of the Union Press, a temporary print space in Flat Iron Square.
In many ways the project pulled together a whole bunch of important strands around my photography practice and is the most exciting art project I’ve been involved in for ages.

Coming from a musical background collaboration is something I've missed in photography. Working with Christina and Jens seemed like we were more than the sum of three people working together -

We had 2 quite different ideas - but they complimented each other in an interesting sense - theirs punned on ironing in Flat Iron Square. First we explored and photographed the empty square early (7am) on a Sunday morning - the link with printing also in the printing of the photographs onto little canvas squares with the iron. Mine was all about filling the square with people - and as well as providing a document of the day hour by hour it also required some action, we had to drum up enthusiasm, call people over and make each photograph happen. One photograph was taken each hour on an instant camera, the photograph in effect printing itself there and then. I had toyed with the idea of taking the photograph on digital - getting much higher quality, but it wasn't about that, seeing the instant print appear still holds it's magic, people photographed the print on their phones so they could send to friends.

Connections and communication
Often I end up finding photography to be a singular, isolating activity. The photographer on the outside of events, wandering around and endlessly watching, waiting for something deemed worthy of capturing. Bringing nothing to the situation - it's all about a delayed gratification, and one for the photographer and their selected audience alone.
This felt the complete opposite - we were catalysts in bringing groups of people together, together stepping into a moment of drama and often comedy. I talked to more strangers on the street than I have in ages. And I loved the drama of acting the part of the photographer on the street - and in the total transparency of the project - you can see the picture immediately, and we also scanned some large on the photocopier and pasted them up on the kiosk. People even came back later in the day to see their pictures. It seemed like the act of photographing had become an encourager of dialogues and link ups, non-threatening and  amusing.
This weekend we'll be laying out 2 books for some speedy printing on Monday ready for the end of press showing of all the publications on Tuesday 10th 6pm

Friday, 29 June 2012

Union Press

Union Press by mdx
Inspirational stuff on Union Street, Borough, London. A temporary print space setting out to explore the legacy of the print trade along Union Street and the surrounding area but ending up intersecting and engaging with the local community in a range of surprising ways.  I happened on it yesterday along with fellow photography students.

One person was collecting tiny plants that grow along the street, pressing them, making prints and cataloguing them. Another person was collecting people's observations of life happening on the street and printing them out on a photocopier.
Union Press - What can you see? by mdx

There had been other intriguing projects - making prints with sheets of plywood and a steam roller - collecting tweets and printing them with stencils by hand - slowly.

Here's more

This afternoon I'd planned to go busking with the folk band under Southwark bridge, beside the Thames, our favourite spot – dark and cool in the summer with wonderful acoustics.
But instead we played inside the Union Press structure.
We all fitted in – Jo on whistles, Jo on guitar, Jill on dustbin bass, Martin on accordion, Jim on Mandolin and Roberto on violin.

booklaunch for "i saw a tiger running wild" by mdx

I'm reminded of this photo taken six years ago - and of x-chris and 56a bookshop.

 h brought his pig mask by mdx

Back in 2006 the wee fella was a year old
and –  I saw a Tiger Running Wild... in Burgess Park
or was it a crowman.

  crowman by mdx

Friday, 22 June 2012

photographer vs punter – participating and observing

I was there by mdx

stonehenge summer solstice by mdx
I planned to visit Stonehenge at the summer solstice to see if I could take photographs for my "A303 - The Road West" project.

I had ideas about photographing the stones and people from the four compass points, using medium format film, setting up automatic methods of how and what to photograph.
DD – Stonehenge – Solstice – 2012 by mdx

In the end I went with Deirdre and it shifted into being there, dodging the rain and soaking up the atmosphere.
cops in a field at night by mdx

It got me thinking how taking photographs often works best for me as a solitary activity.

It requires getting into a mode of observing rather than participating.

And although I can still interact with people it is from the role of photographer rather than punter.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Free Range View

Free Range View by mdx

University of Westminster BA Photography degree show

Last night was the private view of University of Westminster’s BA Photography degree show at Free Range in the Truman’s Brewery on Brick Lane. I worked on the bar for the first hour, realising a long held intrigue with being behind the bar rather than in front of it. I came back to see the show again in the quiet of the morning, along with shows from other colleges in the galleries next door. The Westminster show always feels a weighty affair and this year lightness was in short supply. A preponderance of work showcasing family illness, death and disease. A few more laughs would have been welcome - ironic ones even. It's a big show but missing some of previous year's prints of epic scale and quality, but still there’s much to intrigue, and as with music, some take time to grow into awareness. 
Three works that stuck with me. Edward Shaw’s topological portraits of trees in London parks shot on infra red film - the one big print on the wall alongside large, landscape format book. It’s quaintly old fashioned and yet satisfying in the circular scope of its remit. Council housing is an attractive proposition to photograph and flickr is a good starting point, take a look at and The Heygate estate at the Elephant and Castle has been done by every Tom, Dick and Harry – but Brendon Fraser’s work has a light touch both in composition and display, and yet I want it to say more – for it to be THE defining epic statement on photographing the Heygate. Having said that I think it might have been done (although in a different sense and for the whole Elephant and Castle) in Home from Home by Eva Sajovic in 2010. Ultimately it’s probably the fact that I didn’t have a go at it myself – though I do have some old snaps from when I used to visit my mate Steve on the 7th floor of Kingshill… 
But the piece that stays is Children have to go to school… adults go wherever they want by Lauren Lees, humble on the wall it makes most sense as a book. Lauren works collaboratively with children shooting a disposable film a week with minimum directorial input – it really feels, as the photographer steps out of the way, like it’s uncovering something vitally interesting through the images and texts of life lived at the age of ten. Other works to enjoy are Aredi Lambrechts urban landscapes, Sunhil Shah’s Uganda Stories, Veronika Abrandt and Katherina Dressel’s Robinson-esque journey down the river Lea and Sherry Cutler’s Traumascapes using authentic crime scene photographs. This year more than ever before I can actually imagine showing some of my work at the degree show in 2014 – in fact I’m almost looking forward to it!